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02 October 2013

Nalbandian calls time on his tennis career


Photo: Sergio LlameraDavid Nalbandian (ARG)

Argentina's faithful Davis Cup servant David Nalbandian has decided to retire from professional tennis, citing a shoulder injury for his inability to carry on competing at the highest level.

Nalbandian ends his career as the second most successful Argentine Davis Cup player ever with a total win-loss record of 39-11 behind only Guillermo Vilas (57-24).

He helped his beloved country to reach three Davis Cup finals - in 2006, 2008 and 2011 - and said in a press conference in Buenos Aires on Tuesday that his biggest regret was not winning the coveted team tennis trophy, adding that seeing pictures of him playing Davis Cup brought tears to his eyes.

With the talismanic Nalbandian on the team, Argentina never lost a World Group first round tie and his 11-year career on the team will be remembered fondly by fans and pundits alike.

The 31-year-old Argentine called it a "difficult day," but added that he was "super grateful" to his sport. He said his shoulder did not "respond well" to treatment, concluding, "I cannot compete."

Away from Davis Cup, Nalbandian was widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation but he never managed to win a Grand Slam title. He reached the semifinals or better at all four majors, finishing runner-up at 2002 Wimbledon, he hit a career-high ranking of No. 3 in 2006 and spent five consecutive years in the Top 10.

Nalbandian will play an exhibition match against 13-time major champion Rafael Nadal on 23 November in Buenos Aires.

View a gallery of Nalbandian's Davis Cup career

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